President Joe Biden’s administration is considering providing tariff exemptions for more than 500 products made in China — a potential boon to corporations who continue offshoring to the communist country.
This week, United States Trade Representative (USTR) Katherine Tai said the administration would continue to preserve tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese products first imposed by former President Donald Trump.
But above all else, we must defend – to the hilt – our economic interests.
That means taking all steps necessary to protect ourselves against the waves of damage inflicted over the years through unfair competition.
— Ambassador Katherine Tai (@AmbassadorTai) October 4, 2021
Tai, considered one of the only economic nationalists in Biden’s globalist-centric cabinet, said the administration would begin a “targeted tariff exclusion process” that will review whether more than 500 Chinese-made products should be excluded from tariffs.
Such tariff exclusions for some corporations with Chinese-made products expired in January after the Trump administration issued a number of exemptions, including for products like the Apple Watch and thousands of other products made in China.
“The focus of the evaluation will be whether, despite the first imposition of these additional duties in September 2018, the particular product remains available only from China,” an announcement from the USTR office states:
In addition, USTR will consider whether reinstating the exclusion, or not reinstating the exclusion, will impact or result in severe economic harm to the commenter or other U.S. interests, including the impact on small businesses, employment, manufacturing output, and critical supply chains in the United States, as well as the overall impact of the exclusions on the goal of obtaining the elimination of China’s acts, policies and practices covered in the Section 301 investigation. [Emphasis added]
The comment period for the tariff exemptions, which is open to the public, will last until early December.
Former USTR Robert Lighthizer, in an op-ed for the Economist this week, outlined a series of innovative trade actions to “achieve greater balance” with the U.S. billion-dollar trade deficits.
“A third approach … would be for the United States or any country that experiences the emergence of a huge, regular trade deficit to impose a temporary tariff on all imports and gradually increase it or decrease it depending on the level of the deficit,” Lighthizer writes:
For example, a 10% tariff could be applied to all imports. If the deficit did not go down in a couple of years, the tariff would be increased to 20% for several more years. If this did not have the needed effect it might go up to 30%. (Of course, the programme would make exceptions for critical goods.) When the deficit was substantially reduced, the tariffs would also decline and eventually be eliminated. [Emphasis added]
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter here.